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4th Year Bivy Trip to Petersburg: General Review

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The planning for this trip began in the heritage lab after a very informal splitting of the class. One side of the room would bring a group to Achill while the other half would bring a group to Petersburg. No great discussions took place about who wanted to go where and everyone seemed happy with the group they were in. Some of the details of the trip were then disclosed to us and we began our planning from this.

The A.P.P.L.E facilitation model below outlines how we prepared for the trip.

Assess: Here we identified who we were bringing, what the trip was going to be for, where we were going, the time that we would be leaving the college and the amount of people that would be in our group.

Plan: Within the planning stages we looked at what will work, what will be fun, where we were incorporating learning in to the activities, what the sequence of the activities would be. We also appointed a time keeper who would ensure we would not run over schedule too much. Our introduction to the group and ways in which we would be reviewing the trip were also included in this plan stage.

Prepare: The preparing stage involved everybody getting the props, materials, food they needed for the task they were involved in. As a group we also agreed to check the weather and have a backup plan should bad weather prevent any of us from not carrying out our task.

Lead: It was important for us all within the group to set a good tone and make the 1st years feel comfortable with us. Delving back to our own experience of the bivy trip we all recalled how much we enjoyed it. This was because the group who had brought us to Achill had made it fun, challenging and exciting. They did this by being enthusiastic in their delivery and also creating an environment where we could ask questions and be listened to. As current leaders we hoped to be approachable, responsible, and knowledgeable. Also I hoped that we would provide challenges that would push our group outside their comfort zones socially, creatively, emotionally and spiritually. Delivering my own tasks I kept the “Why am I doing what I am doing? question at the forefront of my mind, this enabled me to stay focused and deliver a well thought out session.
As a leader I also tried to notice any people in the group that may not have found their ‘flock’ and tried to engage with them and bring them into the group more.

Evaluate: Throughout the trip we adjusted or rearranged the tasks as needed. For each individual activity we did we all conducted review on it after. Following on from this we also did a peer review within our own groups. In this we talked about what worked, what would have worked better and what would you do differently next time?
I found this helpful as I had been self-critical of my own contributions however I still know there is lots for me to work on which I will discuss further on.

Using the Adventure wave theory we set up the tasks with the aim that there would be a series of peaks and valleys with periods of turbulence, excitement, activity and calm. By carefully setting out our activities in this order it allowed for more learning to take place and it created a natural flow in the structure of the days. We also incorporated Colm Breads learning combination lock by creating different scenarios in which people would be experiencing and learning new things using various senses. Using blindfolds and leading the group through guided forest mediation was a couple of the ways in which we did this.


Individual Plan:  The tasks that I was preparing for the trip included some icebreakers when we arrived at the site, making the pizza at the campfire, a yoga session the following morning with a guided nature mediation afterwards. I was well prepared for all my tasks and felt I had covered all the areas well within them. If it rained the following morning for the yoga I had a big tarpe that I was going to use to cover us, luckily it did not rain.
However I felt that although I was well prepared for all my own tasks, my all round contribution could have been better. When I had completed my tasks I felt like I was not contributing as much in other areas. If a situation arose where I needed to create an impromptu task I would not have been confident in delivering it. As a result of this I realised that I could have done some more preparing and had more tricks up my sleeve should they have been needed.

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